Regina Baer, co-founder of Berlin nightclubs Tresor and Kraftwerk, has died.
Her friend and fellow Tresor founder Dimitri Hegemann announced that she died last Thursday (July 21) after “fighting an extended, courageous battle against a serious illness”.
Baer and Hegemann helped establish the club Tresor in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin wall. The venue was located between the two infamous walls in the heart of the reunited city. It soon became a launchpad for a youth culture movement inspired by techno.
The pioneering Baer is described in Hegemann’s tribute as having “decisive influence” on the creation of the cultural and performance space Kraftwerk, which is currently home to an exhibition and event series celebrating 31 years of Tresor.
Baer managed Tresor as well as other Berlin venue Globus from 1991 to 2005. She also set up the Tresor Foundation, a non-profit that works to acquire real estate to protect buildings from development, instead safeguarding their future use for creative and cultural purposes.
Meanwhile, the restaurants Schwarzenraben and Weltrestaurant Markthalle are referred to in Hegemann’s note as “matters close to her heart”.
“The history of Tresor, and indeed of Berlin’s entire nightlife, would be different without her energy, drive, vision, creativity, discipline and ability to carry others along with her and motivate them,” reads part of Hegemann’s post.
“She was an incredibly strong woman who knew exactly what she wanted in a scene that was mostly still very male-dominated at the time – and never let herself be intimidated even by the biggest machos.”
He continued: “She was unapologetically open, honest, human, and compassionate and one of the strongest women and people I’ve ever known – all the while having such a great sense of humour that was almost never lost on her. Her True Spirit was as compelling as it was contagious.
“Her death tears a painful hole in our lives. As we know her, she is already working on a magical club in the afterlife, where we will all be happy to become regular someday. Love and Peace forever.”
Meanwhile, DJs, festival organisers and music fans have been seeking to secure Unesco world heritage status for Berlin’s techno culture amid fears that it will struggle to survive.
The campaign group is formed by Matthias Roeingh aka Dr Motte, the DJ who founded Love Parade, a seminal electronic music festival that debuted as a political peace technoparade in West Germany in the summer of 1989 before the fall of the Berlin Wall.